Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY - The decision by the Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) to dismiss 86 employees would affect at least 328 people that directly depend on the dismissed employees, labour experts say.
According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), at least four people, on average, depend on every employed Namibian.
Namport’s decision met with mixed feelings over the weekend, with many seeing the decision as too harsh considering that the country is already facing an economic slowdown, job losses and a severe drought that affect many households.
Unionists told New Era that the mass dismissals seemed to be harsh, but having previous transgressions could have also contributed to the dismissal of some.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of Namport, Kavin Harry, in a media statement issued on Saturday,
said the dismissals were due to an illegal industrial action by the employees in August last year.
The employees wanted to be represented by the Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) despite the fact that Namibian Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) had a bargaining agreement with Namport.
The workers, according to Namport, also did not follow the grievance procedures contained in the collective bargaining agreement signed between Namport and Natau and were advised against the strike.
According to the acting CEO, 92 employees took part in the industrial action despite being warned and were subsequently charged with misconduct in line with Clause 4.5 of Namport’s disciplinary policy.
Harry indicated that an independent chairperson presided over the disciplinary hearing and found all employees guilty of the charges against them, resulting in the dismissal of the 86 employees and final written warnings for six employees.
“This unfortunate turn of events will aggressively result in the disruption to services rendering capabilities to our clients in certain areas.
Management has put in place measures to mitigate the impact of such disruptions, hence all employees are requested to provide support when requested. Kindly note that the minimise risks of any nature Namport employees and property, security measures at has been elevated at all port premises,” the statement read.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-05-20 09:19:12 | 6 months ago